RE: [CR]Benotto, Mexico, The Impossible Hour

(Example: Framebuilders:Pino Morroni)

Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 11:00:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: RE: [CR]Benotto, Mexico, The Impossible Hour
To:, greg piwonka <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Well, this contradicts some information that only low/mid models were made in Mexico. The Benotto 3000 was definitely high end. Would the team bikes in "A Sunday in Hell" have been model 3000, presumably Italian-made ones? Never know what to make of statements about certain models breaking. Usually, the actual failure rate is very low and the so-called problem models, although they may have a significantly higher failure rate than others, still have very few failures in absolute terms. I know some people will not buy a used classic aluminum frame like ALAN or Vitus, due to concerns about fatigue failure. But I've ridden these for years and never had a problem or personally known anyone who did. It's really a matter of statistics, I suppose. Plus some heavy and powerful riders with a gear-mashing riding style can break almost anything, while smaller riders who spin never break anything.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX wrote: I've posted this info before on, but I'll do the same here...

I used to work in a shop that sold Benottos...

Far as I know production replication started in the late seventies in Mexico and by 80, 81, or 82 a range of models were moved to Mexico for the the South and North American markets. About this time models came in general with two "made in" labels. Production quality never matched that of those still made in Italy for European


Anyhow, those made in Mexico and sent to the U.S. for distribution cracked.

Modelo 800 (Hi-Ten) DID NOT CRACK Modelo 850 (Zeta) Cracked where seatube entered bb shell lug. Modelo 1000 (Zeta/Aelle) Cracked where seatube entered bb shell lug. Modelo 1500 (Aelle) Cracked where seatube entered bb shell lug. Modelo 2000 (Ishiwata 019) Cracked where seatube entered bb shell lug. Modelos Track Models with Zeta/Aelle Cracked where seatube entered bb shell lug. Modelo 3000 (SL) Cracked where seatube entered bb shell lug.

Modelo 3000 were made in both Mexico and Italy. Modelo 3500 (SLX) were supposedly only made in Italy. Modelo 5000SL (Gilco / MS) were made only in Italy.

There was a rumor around 86 / 87 that the Modelo 3500 (SLX) production was also

duplicated in Mexico...and that they were plaqued by downtube separation from the headtube.

George Slough here in San Jose once had a Modelo 3500 (SLX) in his Race Street shop that was affected by this...however when I looked at it - didn't see a "Made In" label.

The problems noted above continued all the way into the mid-80's. Benotto made

an effort like Peugeot to update the models with Shimano 105 and 600ex gruppos with aero levers - but they kept using the same base frames as listed above - and those failed too...

Too little too 87, most dealers nation-wide had literally dumped Benotto.

Dale Saso here in San Jose provided a guesstimate having looked at a couple. His guess was that the brazers had overheated the lugs and tubes making them prematurely "brittle"...some failed within a matter of months...some took a year to fail. The Modelo 800 made with Hi-Ten steel apparently could withstand

some abuse and therefore they tend to survive intact to this day - lots of pop up on eBay.

Benotto is one of my all-time favorite brands. Every one of their road models,

even the lowly Modelo 800 had racing geometry. Change a few parts and it was a

decent bike. I myself had a black and silver 1986/87 Modelo 2000 (Ishiwata 019) with a mix of Ofmega, Campy and Suntour. It literally both broke my heart

and pissed me off when it cracked. I still miss this bike.

We sold about a dozen bikes in the 850 to 3000 range - each and every one came back cracked...most belonging to high school buddies.

As to Benottos on's something that's really pissing me off over the

last 4-5 years. I'm noticing that too many sellers are being very dishonest when selling mid-80's in the same range noted above.

They'll provide great angle shots of the bike, closeups of the headtube, the rear triangle...BUT NOT THE SEATUBE!!!

I'll email them asking, "Where was it made? Please provided a closeup of the seatube..."

They'll flat out ignore me - one dude emailed me back saying, "Fuck off!" Should have saved that email...literally...just those two words...nothing else.

If it is made in'll have a decal on the seatube noting exactly that. I'm also noticing that a lot of these same sellers seem to have removed the "Modelo" label which is always alongside the toptube near the headtube on both sides of the bike.

So when shopping on eBay - if they don't answer your question or show the necessary close-up - move on...don't take the risk unless all you want is a showcase bike.

If you happen to come across a mid-80's Modelo 5000SL in red or blue with the Gilco / MS tubing - well I envy you. That was an absolutely beautiful bike.

Robert Shackelford Wheels By Fleming

Quoting greg piwonka :
> i've seen a bike that was from the 80's that was a top model 3000 or 3500 c
> an't remember exactly that had a made in italy sticker on it.
> also i have a modelo 3000 from the 80's sometime that has no made in mexico
> or made in italy sticker and no heart shaped cutout in the bottom bracket
> shell.
> benotto's history is confusing.
> i read somehwere that the reason benotto moved production to mexico was to
> be close to a lady friend...a love affair...probably false...who knows you
> can read all kinds of crazy things on the internet.
> greg piwonka
> austin tx
> > Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 08:58:13 -0500
> > From:
> > To:
> > Subject: [CR]Benotto, Mexico, The Impossible Hour
> >
> > Steven Maasland previously posted this in June 2003:
> > "Benotto has a web site at it doesn't say anything
> > about their history, but I have an Italian book that describes how they
> > started in Turin in 1931. One of the family members moved to Mexico
> > City in the 70's and production was started up there. From the
> > information that I have seen their top bikes were still built in Italy
> > for a few years after the start-up in Mexico. Once the quality was at
> > least as good in Mexico as it was in Italy, they moved all production
> > to Mexico. They sponsored pro teams almost continuously from the 40's
> > onwards and therefore are probably one of the most long-standing pro
> > bike suppliers."
> >
> > Angel Garcia
> > Verona, IT
> >
> >
> >
> > Along the same lines, I was watching last night the opening scene of A
> > Sunday In Hell, which shows a team mechanic preping a champagne color
> > Benotto for Moser or one of his teammates. The bike is all Campy, but th
> ere
> > is not a clear view of the RD. It looks to be either an NR or a 1st
> > generation SR. Does anyone know which? A Sunday In Hell is, I believe,
> the
> > 1976 edition of Paris-Roubaix. Would the Benotto team bikes in that year
> > have been made in Italy or Mexico?
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Jerry Moos
> > Big Spring, TX
> >
> >
> >
> > devotion finesse wrote:
> >
> > I am watching Jorgen Leth's film "The Impossible Hour", which documents D
> an
> > ish racer Ole Ritter's 1974 attempts to regain the hour record from Merck
> x
> > in 1974.
> > Ritter (and his teammate/training partner/future hour record holder Franc
> es
> > co Moser) are shown training in Mexico City in Benotto team kits and ridi
> ng
> > on Benotto bikes.
> > I am wondering what year Benotto relocated from Italy to Mexico, and whet
> he
> > r or not there is any connection to the time spent training there in prep
> ar
> > ation for The Hour.
> > Did Ritter ride Benotto bikes because they were local? Or did Senor Benot
> to
> > fall in love with Mexico while his team was training there? Or are these
> t
> > hings completely unrelated?
> > At any point, was there Benotto production in both Italy or Mexico? Or wa
> s
> > the entire company "relocated" all at once?
> > I always assumed that the Mexican Benottos were simply outsourced. Was th
> i
> > s not the case?
> >
> > Matthew Bowne
> > Again, trying to connect the dots in...
> > Brooklyn, New York
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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